Washington: The police officer who risked his life to save victims of the Wisconsin Gurdwara shootout in 2012 was honoured by US President Barack Obama at a White House award ceremony.
Six people were shot dead while three others injured when gunman Wade Michael Page went on a shooting rampage in August, 2012. The toll could have been much higher if not for Lieutenant Brian Murphy of the Oak Creek Police Department who saved several lives after being shot 12 times from a close range.
"When a gunman opened fire on a temple in Wisconsin and Brian was the first to arrive, he did not consider his own safety," Obama said during the ceremony yesterday.
"He fought back until help arrived and ordered his fellow officers, who are here today, to protect the safety of the Americans worshiping inside - even though he was lying there bleeding from 12 bullet wounds," he said.
"When asked how he did it he said, that's just the way we're made," Obama said as he honored the police officer at a White House award ceremony.
"That's what you've got to do. That's what you've got to be made of to take down homicide suspects in Los Angeles or Vegas, or shooters in Miami or Indiana or Chicago or Iowa - saving untold numbers of lives" said Obama.
"That's what you've got to be made of to dodge live power lines during Hurricane Sandy to free your partner pinned down by a tree, all the while saying. I've got you, pal," said the US President.
"Yes, this is their job. But it's not just about the uniform that they wear. It's about who they are, what they're made of" he added.
"When a gunman entered a restaurant in Pasadena, Texas, it was three off-duty cops who put themselves in harm's way so that others could escape," Obama said as he honored along with Murphy several other policemen from across the nation at the top cops ceremony at White House.
He said leaders needed to focus on making it harder for dangerous criminals to get their hands on lethal weapons. He then concluded his remarks, making a direct appeal to all Americans. "Let them know how much you appreciate it," he said.